As of January 2019, the multimodal service from Dunkerque will be extended to serve all the major rail hubs in the South of France (Bordeaux, Bayonne, Toulouse, Perpignan, Miramas / Marseille, Lyon and Avignon) and Northern Italy (Turin, Novara, Milan).
The service will be open to maritime containers handled at the Flanders Terminal (TdF) in Dunkerque as well as to swap bodies handling North-South continental traffic.
As of February 2019, this new service, which guarantees a Dunkerque - South of France Day A / Day C combined transport service, will see its frequency increase from 2 to 3 departures per week in each direction.
In order to deploy this new service, GREENMODAL and Dunkerque-Port have joined forces in a new container rail transport company, DUNKERQUE GREEN SOLUTIONS (DGS). As of the beginning of 2019 the shuttle operated by DGS will include three round trips per week between the Dunkerque TdF terminal on the one hand, and the Dourges and Valenton hubs on the other, with which the GREENMODAL and NOVATRANS shuttles to southern France and Italy will connect.
In addition to opening the combined transport plan, the shuttle will significantly improve the multimodal offer from Dunkerque-Port to the south-east of the Paris region, since this new service three times per week to Valenton will take over from the Dunkerque Bonneuil-sur-Marne service, currently operated by GREENMODAL on the basis of only 2 round trips per week.
Stéphane Raison, CEO of Dunkerque-Port, welcomed the news: "The start-up of this service represents a new key step in the development of containerized activity in Dunkerque. The fast connection with the hubs in Southern France as well as the improvement in the frequencies of the service to the Paris region will allow us to promote the regular departures from Dunkerque even more. The service will also provide the many industrialists in the Region with a highly credible alternative to the "all-road" mode with which to route their continental trade flows".
Delphine André, President of the Charles-André Group added: "The creation of this shuttle corresponds to our strategy to develop an intermodal service connected to major cities and ports, ie where the modal shift is relevant via major hubs where the trains can be completed and/or re-marshalled. Dunkerque-Port with whom we share that strategy has been highly active in this project which requires close collaboration and efforts on both sides. Through this association, the Charles André Group is stepping up its service offer to industrialists in the Hauts-de-France region and interconnecting with other regions, an essential feature for its attractiveness. Mass transport with the Dourges Terminal will allow us to combine shipping with a continental transport service. In so doing we hope to reach sufficient filling levels to break even. Intermodal transport, which has very high fixed costs, mainly those of train slots and railway traction, is only suitable and profitable if the volumes are there on a permanent and stable basis."